DETROIT Over the last few months, they started to call him "Blockbuster," the journeyman infielder who arrived with the Giants so quietly at midseason, before they ran away with the division and into the playoffs, and caught fire when it mattered most.
On Sunday night, Marco Scutaro came up with a man on second and two outs in the 10th inning of a tie game, and he delivered a signature line drive up the middle that, like the 2012 team, will forever have its own place in Giants lore.
For the second time in three years, the Giants are the kings of baseball.
For the first time since 1954, they did it in a sweep, beating the Detroit Tigers in four games in the World Series, their 4-3 win at Comerica Park in Game 4 culminating a furious finish of seven wins in a row.
"I don't even know how to describe it," said right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, the 35-year-old first-time World Series champion, whose eyes may have been red from champagne spraying around him, though goggles were propped on his head. "I got punched in the mouth and I don't even care, let's start with that. It's amazing.
"I'm just glad that the whole world got to see what our team's really about. Starting in Game 5 of the NLCS, we really played our best games of baseball at the right time. I'm just glad everyone got to see what our team is able to do."
Scutaro's single off Tigers closer Phil Coke became the go-ahead hit as Ryan Theriot slid across home plate, and then the Series-winning hit when Sergio Romo struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th, zipping an 89-mph fastball past a frozen Miguel Cabrera for the final out.
Catcher Buster Posey, a year ago rehabbing his shredded ankle, exploded out of his crouch and sprinted for Romo, who pumped his arms and screamed. At first base, Brandon Belt threw his glove into the air. Near second, Scutaro sank to his knees and pointed at the sky before jumping into the arms of center fielder Angel Pagan.
After Theriot led off the 10th with a single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Crawford, Pagan struck out ahead of Scutaro.
"Believe it or not, I was praying to God for him to get a base hit," Pagan said. "I wanted to be the one. But I didn't do it. So I wanted him to pick me up."
Scutaro did with a hit bigger than any of the record-tying 14 he had en route to the MVP honor in the championship series. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the MVP of the World Series following his historic three-homer night in Game 1 and .500 Series batting average, exulted in the on-deck circle.
"He earned this situation right here, the World Series champ," Sandoval said of Scutaro. "He's been through a lot of things in his career."
As had Theriot, who lost playing time after Scutaro's emergence but was manager Bruce Bochy's choice for designated hitter Sunday. For Bochy, it was his second World Series title in his third try as manager. In the middle of the visiting clubhouse, smiling wide, he hoisted the World Series trophy under a bubbly deluge.
"I know he does get some credit," said left-hander Barry Zito, the Game 1 winner whose resurgence this season extended into the playoffs. "But he should get all the credit."
"I couldn't be prouder of a group of guys that were not going to be denied," Bochy said. "It's amazing what they accomplished. I think when you look at this club, the terms 'teamwork,' 'team play' that's used loosely. But these guys truly did."
Sunday night, it was Belt hitting an RBI triple in the second inning for his first hit of the Series; Matt Cain giving up two home runs, including a wind-aided two-run homer to Cabrera in the third, but coming back out for the seventh and leaving with the score tied; Jeremy Affeldt striking out the middle of the Tigers' order in the eighth after a leadoff walk.
Perhaps no player better embodied the Giants' resiliency this season than Posey, whose two-run homer in the sixth off Tigers starter Max Scherzer gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. After Delmon Young tied it with a solo shot off Cain in the bottom of the sixth, each bullpen matched zeroes until Scutaro came up in the 10th.
"There was certainly no bad breaks, no fluke," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I tip my hat to them. Simple, they did better than we did."
Beginning with Game 5 of the NLCS, the Giants won seven consecutive playoff games for the first time in franchise history. Afterward, the team that fought off elimination six times in its first two series huddled in the middle of a delirious clubhouse, passing a silver trophy from man to man, jumping and chanting as one.
"We did some stuff that never has been done before," Pagan said. "In the playoffs, we were against the wall twice and we refused to go. We refused to go home. We played with a lot of determination. And look what we have now."